Inverlochy castle and the MacDonald raid.  In 1431, Donald Balloch from Dunivaig castle, on behalf of the captive MacDonald Lord of the Isles led an army of only 800 highlanders, made up of MacLeans of Coll, MacDuffies of Colonsay, MacQuarries of Ulva and the MacKays of the Rhinns, in rebellion against King James I of Scots (1406-1437). The King's man in the North, the Earl of Mar was stationed at Inverlochy castle, to entice '..the rest of MacDonald's vassals,...' to join the King's party, when the MacDonalds raided. Mar's force had 'pitched their tents near the castle of Inverlochy' and were warned of the approaching MacDonalds. However, Mackintosh who was busy playing cards with Mar dismissed this report saying  'he knew well the doings of the big bellied carles of the Isles.'  The King's force were taken totally by surprise as the first wave of highlanders hit, royal forces were said to be over 900 slain, including the Earl of Atholl's son, Alan, Earl of Caithness  'along with sixteen men at arms of his household retinue and many others.'  Mar himself escaped half naked and on foot all the way to his home fortress of Kildrummy.  Surprisingly, the MacDonald force didn't know they had obtained such a great victory and had withdrawn midway through the battle.  Andrew Spratt


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